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dc.contributor.author Powell, Chaunise De’Annette
dc.date.accessioned 2019-10-03T22:00:34Z
dc.date.available 2019-10-03T22:00:34Z
dc.date.issued 2019-05-16
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.3/213508
dc.description.abstract In 1975 the Children’s Defense Fund released a study indicating that Black and Brown boys in K-12 schools were the disproportionate recipients of exclusionary discipline throughout the United States. Since the study’s release, scholars, educators, and policy makers have been working to find solutions to remedy this inequity. The result of those efforts have included government funded programs aimed at reducing the use of exclusionary discipline, implementation of school-wide behavior support systems such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and other multi-tiered system of supports (Children’s Defense Fund, 2011). While these programs have been successful at reducing the overall suspension rate, they have failed to reduce the disproportionate use of exclusionary discipline for Black and Brown boys (Sandomierski, 2011). One factor that contributes to the disproportionate discipline of Black and Brown boys is cultural mismatch. Cultural mismatch occurs when students of diverse backgrounds attend schools in which the school culture is different from the culture they are a part of in the community (Stephens, Townsend, Markus, & Phillips, 2012). A 2014 study suggested that the culture of schools is at odds with urban youth culture (Riddle, 2014). In addition to differences between school and youth culture, the data suggest that race, class, gender, and geographic location are all correlated with disproportionate discipline (Gray, 2016; Gregory, Skiba, & Noguera, 2010; Madrigal-Garcia & Acevedo-Gil, 2016). Traditionally, studies have looked at race, class, gender, and geographic location as social and environmental characteristics that intersect in ways that impact school discipline outcomes. Instead, I argue that in the context of education they are contributing factors to the formation of a cultural subgroup, known as urban youth culture. A 2010 study conducted by Gregory, Skiba, and Noguera found that to reverse negative discipline trends for Black and Brown students there must be increased understanding of the role culture plays in the occurrence and resolution of incidents. One area that has had limited exploration is cultural values. Understanding how cultural values impact behavior and subsequently involvement in school discipline systems may help schools address disproportionality in school discipline. In this study, I investigated the cultural values urban youth have regarding justice and fairness and how it impacted their experiences of discipline disproportionality. Specifically, I examined how Brown boys’ experiences of injustice impact their behavior and their involvement in school discipline systems. Three theoretical frameworks guided this understanding: Critical Race Theory, Trauma Theory, and General Strain Theory. Critical Race Theory provided a framework that exposes the systematic racism that invades every institution in America, including schools. At the same time, General Strain Theory and Trauma Theory highlighted the ways in which exposure to persistent adversities and injustices impact the thoughts, emotions, and behavior of urban students of color. To examine how urban youth culture and perceptions of injustice function together to impact behavior in schools, I used a qualitative case study approach. This study argues that the failure of schools to consider how urban youths’ cultural value of justice impacts the behavior of Latino boys in school. In addition, the study argues that students of color engage in resistant behaviors, which impacts their involvement in school discipline systems. This case study used purposive sampling to identify seven eighth-grade Latino boys who would share their experiences with injustice and discipline in schools. The study found that the Latino boys in urban middle schools who had experienced trauma were more likely to engage in behaviors that resulted in office discipline referrals and suspensions when they experienced injustice in school. In addition, the study found that there were five key elements that provided a framework for understanding the impact of injustice on Latino boys’ behaviors in the urban middle schools in this study. Finally, the study found that there is a process Latino boys progress through after experiencing injustice in schools that results in the school discipline system. This paper is organized into five sections (a) Introduction, (b) Review of the Literature, (c) Methodology, (d) Findings, and (e) Discussion. Keywords: Disproportionality, Urban, Youth Culture, Discipline, Injustice, Latino, Behavior, Trauma, Middle School, Case Study, Punishment
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Educational Leadership for Social Justice
dc.format.extent xiii ; 169 p.
dc.subject Educational leadership
dc.subject.lcsh Urban youth
dc.subject.lcsh Middle school boys
dc.title School Justice: A Case for Understanding Brown Boys' Behavior in Urban Middle Schools
dc.type Dissertation
dc.date.updated 2019-10-03T22:00:35Z
dc.language.rfc3066 en
dc.contributor.primaryAdvisor Gray, Dr. Mari
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Education
thesis.degree.name Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice
dc.contributor.committeemember Winkelman, Dr. Peg
dc.contributor.committeemember Parker, Dr. Lynette

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